Since its independence in 1946, Jordan has achieved remarkable macro-economic growth and it has been identified as one of the Arab countries with high levels of human development results. According to the Jordan Human Development Report 2004, between 1997 and 2002, Jordan’s Human Development Index (HDI) rose from 0.715 to 0.747 and in 2011 Jordan Human Development Report HDI it rose to 0.798. In terms of Human Poverty Index (HPI), Jordan went from 9.8% in 1997 to 6.1% in 2006; and 6.6% in 2009. However, such an economic growth did not manage to accompany equitable distribution of benefits or development between the urban and rural areas. For example, Amman, the capital city, has benefited from the highest levels of human development (HDI 0.82), whereas the other areas remained at the HDI values ranging from 0.75 to 0.80.
In addition, women in resource-poor communities face significant obstacles in claiming their rights and entitlements. This deprives them of the opportunities to raise their voice and to exercise choice - both essential components contributing to human dignity. Discrimination at household and community level is a significant barrier to equitable development and should be tackled as a priority. Without the full and active participation of women, sustainable development cannot be achieved in Jordan. Situations are similar to other vulnerable groups such as youth and the persons with disabilities (PWDs).
For example, the 2010 unemployment rate in Zarqa, the target Governorate of this project, is 12.5 with a high number of PWDs . The 2010 Poverty rate in zarqa is 10.5. Of the 32 poverty pockets identified in 2008 within Jordan, two were in Zarqa with poverty rates ranging from 25.9% to 42.3%.
Thus, in order to address the issue of regional disparities, decentralization will provide an opportunity for the poor to participate in the planning and implementation of local development and in doing so, the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the local authorities will become aware of the voices of local communities in formulating MDGs/poverty alleviation plans.
This project aims to bring an ‘enabling environment’ to local communities in Zarqa to encourage active civic participation in local development.
The project will target one of the poorest areas in Zarqa (called, Ghoreyiah) and set up four thematic Community Development Committees (CDCs) by utilizing existing community committees or, in case it doesn’t have one, by creating new committees. The four thematic CDCs - 1.Children; 2.Women; 3. Youth; and 4. Persons with Disabilities - will be consisted of all groups by age and gender, including the Persons with Disabilities. After having introductory trainings on the MDGs, each thematic CDCs will hold periodic round tables, based on volunteerism, to identify and advocate development challenges. These round tables are facilitated by volunteer reporters who will develop radio messages to be broadcasted.
In line with the above, there will be public dialogues between the CDCs and local authorities as well as Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in order them to have a better understanding of these challenges and be able to reflect them in their efforts of formulating plans or development projects for the achievement of MDGs, especially for poverty alleviation. Following to the public dialogues, CSOs will be provided with the capacity development workshop to prepare plans to address the challenges and selected CSOs will be provided with in-kind seed contributions to implement the plans.
At all levels of its activities, the project will be guided by the principles of Human Rights Based approach, participatory approach, social inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, gender equality and sustainable development. Also, by promoting volunteerism for development within the communities, the citizens will become active participants, and this will eventually yield to the empowerment of the NGOs, CBOs, CSOs and local authorities in formulating community-responsive development projects.
The Zarqa governorate is the most densely populated which consists of 14.9% of the total population of Jordan, and is assumed to have a large population of persons with disabilities. Between 1997 and 2002, average per capita income increased from JD 4,681 in 2006 to JD 5,127 in 2008, and unemployment rates have risen to 13.4% in 2004 and again to 15.6% in 2008 and was decreased to 12.5% in 2010 .
Through the consultative meetings with key stakeholders who are working in Zarqa including the Zarqa Governorate, Municipalities, CSOs and local associations, this project targets Ghoreyiah which is one of the poorest areas with high population of people with disabilities. At the same time, there are a number of local associations working in Ghoreyiah which positively contributed to this project. Although there is no official data about community structures or committees in Zarqa (including Zarqa city where Ghoreyiah belongs), a draft research conducted by ZENID shows that Zarqa has a number of informal community groups (for example, there are more than 50 community committees in Zarqa city) that are formed based on volunteerism. Building upon what already exists in Zarqa, this project aims to promote ‘volunteerism for development’ among the communities so that it (‘volunteerism for development’) can settle down with structured and sustainable community activities to address local development challenges.
ZENID / JOHUD has launched a community radio station for Zarqa in July 2008, called Farah al Nas. The radio station is registered with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and has attained a broadcasting license in the fields of political issues from the Government.
Meanwhile, the Government’s National Agenda highlights the role of media as a tool in the promotion of an enabling environment for facilitating good governance practices and among the types of media, radio stations are very popular in Jordan. According to the media survey carried out by IREX and Harris Interactive® Global Network in February 2008, 2,912 Jordanians aged 15 and above responded that they listened to radios much more than any other medium (46% among all mediums such as dailies, weeklies, magazines, and television). And 54% of radio listeners in Jordan are below 29 years of age, with a high proportion of 21 percent of them between the ages of 15-19. Also, female radio listeners show high listenership as much as 44.7%.
A community radio station helps poor people to share information in a language they understand and furthermore, it fosters dialogues on issues and encourages community members to organize themselves to identify and benefit from more opportunities. As a result, CSOs and local authorities have better access to the voices of local communities and this facilitates their efforts in the formulation of locally sensitive MDGs/poverty alleviation plans or projects.
In October, 2008, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Jordan was newly established through the merger of the JICA and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). In line with Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), and as a result of policy dialogues between Japan and Jordan, this project is a direct contribution to the work of JICA in terms of Alleviation of Social Gaps as the project aims to enhance community engagement of local development through the set-up of 4 Community Development Committees (CDCs) which include a women committee and a people with disabilities (PWDs) committee.
Based on the above, the project has two key components. The first component is to develop radio messages through regular round tables of four thematic CDCs (namely, Children Committee, Women Committee, Youth Committee, and PWDs Committee). Two volunteer reporters work with each CDC to facilitate the round tables and write radio messages based on these discussions. The radio messages mainly highlight the local needs that enhance the living of the beneficiaries, such as writing good resumes, educational opportunities and so on. Each CDC had induction workshops to be acquainted with the MDGs with the languages that they understand. The volunteer reporters participated in intensive trainings at ZENID’s radio station to be better equipped with technical skills in reporting.
The second component is to develop capacities of local authorities, CSOs and NGOs, so that they would have a better understanding of the local challenges and be able to reflect the voices of the community in the processes of formulating development plans or development projects. As a start, a workshop to learn about how to conduct a participatory meeting when developing MDGs/poverty alleviation plans and designing development projects. Regular public dialogues to this effect were held among the CDCs, the Governorate of Zarqa, CSOs and NGOs to exchange views and discuss local development needs together. During the consultative meeting with the Governorate of Zarqa that included other key stakeholders in Zarqa, it was agreed that the Governorate would assist with the coordination of the public dialogues meetings once the project is implemented.
Through the regular dialogues, the local authorities, CSOs and NGOs were motivated to incorporate the communities’ voices to their work and further encouraged to apply for the in-kind seed grants provided through this project with competitive selection processes. The participating NGOs/CBOs/CSOs can come up with a project/action plan with a particular focus, and one selected organization will receive the seed in kind funds. Since its in-kind seed grant, NGOs/CBOs/CSOs can agree on who would implement what within the project hence there would be no cash handling. The applicant organizations were encouraged to link the radio messages that are developed through the public dialogues. The selection criteria included, in general, whether and how the local communities are involved in the planning stage and how the local communities will participate in the implementation of the project ideas. Also, where the project application was supported with the applicant organization’s own funds or any other parties’ resources, it was reviewed as an asset.
Throughout the project, close consultations were maintained with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Ministry of Social Development, Governorate of Zarqa, municipalities in Zarqa as well as other key stakeholders. At the same time, the project worked with the local associations in Ghoreyiah based on the shared responsibility of the communities and the promotion of community volunteerism. In doing so, the interest of the beneficiaries was preserved and sustained.
UNV Value Added:
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for recognition of volunteers, working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing an increasing number and diversity of volunteers, including experienced UNV volunteers, throughout the world. UNV embraces volunteerism as universal and inclusive, and recognizes volunteerism in its diversity, as well as the values that sustain it: free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.
In this regard, the role of civic engagement through volunteerism is indispensible. Through this project, UNVs established community development committees based on volunteerism and the committees will be empowered to play a central role in their respective local development. Also, by promoting volunteerism for development within the communities, the citizens became active participants, and this will eventually yield to the empowerment of the NGOs, CBOs, CSOs and local authorities in formulating community-responsive development projects.
The three main objectives of this project are the following:
- Community Development Committees (CDCs) are established and trained to produce radio messages on local development issues.
- CSOs, NGOs, CBOs, Governorate of Zarqa and municipalities (hereafter, indicated as local authorities) become better aware of local challenges which reflect the voices of the communities through the workshop and public dialogues
- Capacities of CSOs, NGOs, CBOs and local authorities are developed to be able to incorporate the local communities’ voices in their efforts of formulating plans or development projects for the achievement of MDGs/poverty alleviations
In order to achieve these objectives, the project activities focused and achieved the following during 2010 and 2011:
- 118 volunteers registered in the project from Ghoriyah and the surrounding areas. The volunteers were distributed among their related four thematic Community Development Committees (CDCs): Women, Children, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) and Youth
- Four focus groups were conducted by the technical committee with the four CDCs to come up with tailored localized MDGs for Ghwerieh that resulted in four reports for women, children, youth and PWDs with the support of ESCWA.
- In 2010, the project conducted a total of 33 Roundtable talks to formulate radio messages that talk about the issues and challenges raised in the localized MDGs reports. The messages were then broadcast on Farah Al Nas Community Radio Station (a total of 31 Radio Messages).
- In 2011, in order to further disseminate the messages and increase listenership, a total of 48 Roundtables were conducted to create a weekly radio show building on the 2010 radio messages.
- In 2011, the weekly show was broadcast every Wednesday on Farah Al Nas Community Radio Station (a total of 39 episodes)
Conducted different workshops for the CDCs and local authorities according to the needs assessed for each category:
- Communication Skills for all CDCs
- Creative Radio Messages formulation for all CDCs
- Technical Radio Messages Formulation using Adobe Audition for facilitators from each CDC
- Voluntarism Management for facilitators from each CDC
- Apprenticeship at Farah Al Nas Community Radio Station for facilitators from each CDC
- Introduction to MDGs for all CDCs
- Economic Empowerment for PWDs’ CDC
- Legal empowerment for the PWDs’ CDC
- Women and Human rights for Women’s CDC
- Journalism reporting for all CDCs
- Proposal writing for local authorities
- Rapid Participatory Approach and MDGs for local authorities
- Organizational Management for local authorities
- Marketing research tool for local authorities
Around 21 dialogues were conducted between the CDCs and the local authorities to increase awareness of local challenges, reflecting the voices of the local community and allowing for information to be shared.
In 2010, the Zarqa Municipality was selected among four local applicants for the 1st grant to implement a solid waste management project, with funding from Takalam Project in the amount of $ 18,000.
In 2011, a local CBO “Abna’a Al Watan”, in cooperation with an Italian non -profit NGO “The Association of Volunteers in International Service, was awarded the 2nd grant for a project aimed at defeating the culture of shame among PWD and their families and seeks to empower PWD in their daily lives.
The objective of this assignment is to evaluate the project “Supporting the Empowerment of Local Communities in Zarqa through Community Radio Station - TAKALAM” in terms of effectiveness, impact and replication and to make recommendations on the way forward. The scope covers the following:
- An evaluation of the effectiveness of the project including design, relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, identifying challenges, constraints and success factors and providing conclusions and lessons learnt. Given the particular focus of this project, a key component of this evaluation will be on the impact and sustainability of the many training that were conducted to CDCs and CBOs, Radio Messages, awareness raising. In this regard, detailed key questions for this key focus area are set out in the next section that will need to be addressed. The evaluation should assess to what extent the activities undertaken considered the sustainability aspect of the activities. Clear recommendations of how this aspect should be addressed in the future should be outlined. The recommendations should also include ideas for a potential second phase.
Coverage of the radio messages within the targeted area, and possible impact:
- To assess if the project activities were the most efficient in order to increase the capacity of both the community and the local actors’ ability in addressing their local development challenges in order to assess the opportunity to pursue and/or replicate the project.
- An evaluation of the project management structure that would review and assess the appropriateness of the Project Management set-up to carry out its responsibility of implementation, monitoring, reporting and establishing partnerships. This is not an evaluation of individual performance and capacity but of the appropriateness of the structure and set-up in addressing the management needs of the project. This should cover as well the roles of the project board committee members and the project technical committee members. Particular attention should be paid to the contribution (or lack thereof) of the project management arrangements to the ownership by the national partners. The overarching questions of the evaluation are:
- Was the outcome and associated activities relevant, appropriate and strategic to national goals, JOHUD/ZENID, PBYRC, UNDP, UNV, MOPIC, MOSD, Zarqa’s Governorate, and Zarqa’s Municipality mandates
- Were the actions to achieve the outputs and outcomes effective and efficient?
- Will the outputs and outcomes lead to benefits beyond the life of the existing project
- Which findings may have relevance for future next phase as well as programming for other similar initiatives elsewhere?
- Discuss with stakeholders results of the evaluation for their feedback and collect responses to the findings.
Main Criteria and Key Questions:
The main criteria to be used in the evaluation of the project are project design and appropriateness, relevance effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. Guiding questions related to each one of these criteria are given in the following table:
- Project Management - Are the Project Management arrangements appropriate at the Team level and project board level?
- Project Design - To what extent did the design of the Project help in achieving its own goals?
- Were the context, problem, needs and priorities well analyzed while designing the project?
- Were there clear objectives and strategy?
- Were there clear baselines, indicators and/or benchmarks for performance?
- Was the process of project design sufficiently participatory; was there any impact of the process?
Effectiveness and efficiency:
- To what extent did the project contribute to the intended outputs and outcomes, was that done effectively and efficiently? (in particular, the training materials for CDCs and CBOs, Radio Messages and shows, implementation of grants), will those tools be used as a reference?)
- Were the outputs achieved in a timely manner?
- Were there any lessons, failures/lost opportunities? What might have been done better or differently?
- Were there any unintended outcomes of the actions?
- How did the project deal with issues and risks?
- Impact and Sustainability - Assessment of the changes that occurred after providing different trainings in Ghoreyiah and Zarqa Governorate for the CDCs and CBOs..
- Assessment of the level of awareness on women, youth, children and PWDs participation in Zarqa (analyses of the radio messages and shows, discussion with important stakeholders)
- Facilitation and partnership: To what extent has the Project been able to facilitate networking and institute successful partnerships?
- How inclusive was the project during implementation?
- Did the project achieve impact taking into consideration its duration?
- Will the outputs/outcomes lead to benefits beyond the life of the existing project?
- Were the actions and results owned by the local partners and stakeholders?
- Was capacity (individuals, institution, systems) built through the actions of the project?
- What is the level of contribution of the project management arrangements to national ownership of the set objectives, results and outputs?
- Were the modes of delivery of the outputs appropriate to promote national ownership and sustainability of the results achieved?
- How successful the talk shows and radio messages in reaching out to targeted groups.
In addition, the consultant will assess the opportunity of pursuing the support to the community and the local authorities in addressing development challenges and will provide:
- Justification to continue or not this kind of support.
- Proposed activities, geographical scope, target for a potential 2nd phase.
- The consultant is expected to work in partnership with the JOHUD/ZENID and PBYRC and in close consultation with UNDP and UNV.
- The consultant is expected to undertake the following tasks during the evaluation process:
- Conduct desk review of all relevant documents including review of national policies, strategies and initiatives currently implemented in the field of community participation, awareness raising, development and poverty in individual and local authorities level.
- Review of the Project Document and define the evaluation framework and submit it for approval.
- Review of all documents related to project implementation and monitoring: Training material, CDCs localized MDGs reports, workshop and training reports, grants proposals, radio messages and shows, quarterly progress reports and financial reporting.
- Conduct interviews and roundtable meetings through a mission with the project stakeholders and main partners, the Project team and members of the board.
- Conduct interviews and focus groups with project beneficiaries. Analyze the results and provide conclusions and recommendations.
- Provide UNDP, UNV, JOHUD/ZENID and PBYRC with a first draft of the evaluation report for comments/review and approval.
- Incorporate comments provided by UNDP and JOHUD/ZENID and PBYRC and submit the final report. The report should include the methodology of conducting the assignment as an annex.
- The consultant will hold a UNDP contract and will have to coordinate activities of the assignment with UNDP/UNV, JOHUD/ZENID and PBYRC. The consultant will have full responsibility for conducting the evaluation, under supervision of UNDP and the approval authority lies within UNDP. Once the contract is issued by UNDP, a detailed work plan will be drafted by the consultant and the methodology for assessing the effectiveness and impact of the project achievements to be approved by UNDP and UNV before starting the assignment and according to which it would be conducted. Any delay to the work plan must be indicated to UNDP in good time with a coherent justification. The Project Manager at JOHUD will be facilitating the daily work of the consultant. The Final Evaluation Report needs to be approved by UNDP in consultation with JOHUD/ZENID.
Outputs and Deliverables:
Below are the required outputs, which are to be guided by the scope of work and objectives identified above and by the annexes and corresponding timelines:
- Literature Review and submit a work plan of the methodology for assessing the effectiveness and impact of the many trainings and evaluation framework of the assignment Within three days of signing the contract
- Debriefing meeting on evaluation results with stakeholders Within 12 days of signing the contract
- Brief mission reports (not more than 3 pages) on the field work and first draft of the evaluation results, including findings/recommendations. Within 15 days after signing the contract
Final Evaluation report which should include the following sections:
- Title page
- List of acronyms and abbreviations
- Table of contents, including list of annexes
- Executive Summary
- Introduction: background and context of the project
- Description of the project – its logic theory, results framework and external factors likely to affect success
- Purpose of the evaluation: key questions and scope of the evaluation with information on limitations and de-limitations
- Approach and methodology
- Findings, summary and explanation of findings and interpretations
- Conclusions and recommendations
- Lessons learned, generalization, alternatives
- Annexes (full list of interviews conducted with dates and summary of key mission activities and meetings) Within 25 days after signing the contract
- UNDP and JOHUD will provide the consultant with all the necessary documents.
- The timeframe from signature of contract till submission of final documents is 35 days, expected and paid duration of assignment is 14 working days.